Over the past decade, the foodie-craze in the US has blown up. We’re so crazy about food that we love TV shows about making and eating food, and we love TV shows about people who have eaten too much, have hit rock bottom and need to lose weight to save their lives. One aspect of the craze that’s really gained popularity in most urban areas is the proliferation of culinary food-factories on wheels, the food truck.
No longer are food trucks the lowest echelon of the dining experience, relegated to construction sites, stocked with food that would make any High School lunch lady week, and brimming with potential food-born illness. Food trucks have become chic, entrepreneurial, restaurants on wheels. In Southern California it started with trucks like the Kogi Korean BBQ truck, but now it’s blown up to include all genres of classic and fusion cuisine. The food is delicious enough to muster a reasonably high price tag for a meal served in a paper serving tray, and the trucks are ubiquitous.
Here’s the challenge, most (not all) of these trucks pack a tremendous amount of calories, carbs and fat into their menu. Like any restaurant, there are usually some healthy options and you can request sauces on the side and substitutions to make your food truck order a bit healthier. However, I have found the draw of these trucks to be the over-the-top creative menus, the fact that they go ‘over-the-top’ with things like batter, butter, sauces and did I already mention butter? So am I going to blame the trucks for the weight problem in America? Definitely not. I’m a firm believer in personal power and accountability. These trucks are giving people what they want. However, I do think that their proliferation raises yet another “watch out” for those who want to eat healthy and lose weight. I’ve seen people who would typically eat healthy have a similar reaction to little kids when the ice-cream truck would drive by when we were little, once they see food trucks lined up outside of my office. I also believe they trigger a similar array of bad choice justification responses, that happens when going to the fair and ordering very unhealthy things. The “Hey, It’s fair food and I don’t get to eat this all the time.” Well, unfortunately with food trucks you can eat about as badly as you would at the county fair on a much more regular basis.
Again, there are some reasonably healthy options, so all food trucks aren’t created equally. However, most of their menus are a nutrition nightmare. My advice is a) be very picky about what you do or don’t eat from a food truck, and b) your best bet is to “keep on truckin'” and don’t stop at their windows to begin with.
Small steps add up!!!